Man: “Did you hear the one about the restaurateur, the beauty salon owner, and the guy building cooling trailers that walked into the bank?”
Friend: “To get a loan …?”
Man: “Yes, you are right: a loan to start a disinfection business.”
Man: “Because that is what entrepreneurs do.”
This all happened back in 2012, when another great success story started between Grobank and the Viljoens, who decided to change their lives from being salary earners to income creators.
Francois and Mariaan Viljoen already had a relationship with Grobank going back to 1997.
“After experiencing the clinical financial policies of all the major banks, we decided to look for a niche banking partner that would understand the true meaning of a ‘we are there for you’ bank,” Francois reminisces. “We wanted a banking partner that had the vision to support us through the difficult start-up process of our business and enjoy the rewards of its success.
“We found that banking partner in The Bank of Athens, whose operations have since gone through a name change to Grobank.
“Over the next few years our relationship became one of great respect and support, from the bank’s top management to the general staff. We have also been blessed with the wealth of advice received from the various divisions of the bank,” he says.
In 2012, the Viljoens decided to visit the USA to investigate how school and childcare centres approach hygiene and sanitising. “We immediately realised the value and advice we can offer schools and other learning institutions in this regard,” Francois explains.
Our motivation to investigate hygiene in childcare centres was motivated by our firstborn child being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (at 15 months old). Since we had no history of diabetes on either side of our families, we were puzzled as to the cause and started our search for answers.
“It came down to minimising cross-contamination and infections that are prominent within childcare centres. A lack of hygiene in these centres could have triggered the destruction of insulin-producing cells within our child which, in turn, could have caused Type 1 diabetes.”
The Viljoens realised that better hygiene practices would control virus and bacterial growth to eliminate further breeding grounds at childcare and educational centres.
“With this, our company GermCure was born,” Francois says.
“Our company progressed from a small family start-up to a business providing an income for more than 15 independent contractors and their dependents. It has a nationwide footprint of clients, ranging from schools to gyms and micro-labs.”
Through years of experience, Francois and Mariaan have also acquired international distribution rights from globally-recognised product provider Victory Innovations, which supplies state-of-the art electro-static sprayers; and Kersia/MedenTech, the worldwide leader in providing disinfection control and cleaning products.
This year, a new game-changer came into effect: Covid-19. The demand on businesses providing essential services to comply with new regulations regarding disinfecting products and services became huge.
GermCure, with its chemical-free based products, and a proven scientific-based track record for killing bacteria, viruses and fungi, is ideally positioned to meet this demand.
The uptake of the company’s natural products has been phenomenal and, in a world that is much more conscious of the impact it has on the environment, this has played a crucial role in its success across a diverse range of clients, from mining to nursery schools.
GermCure’s product-providing partner, Beyond Green Cleaning, has developed a range of 100% natural cleaning products, which it will soon make accessible for general households when it launches into the retail space.
Demand for products that help businesses meet Covid-19 compliance has led to unprecedented growth for GermCure’s business, so much so that it has moved into the international distribution space to accommodate the need for business expansion.
One may very well ask what the future of a sanitising and disinfection business like GermCure would be post Covid-19’s lockdown phases.
The company believes two factors will ensure its future.
GermCure has also become involved in finding solutions for the environmental and social challenges the country and the rest of the continent are facing.
The company’s success would not have been able to materialise if they did not have the backing of a trusting financial partner, who valued them for their entrepreneurial spirit.
Francois and Mariaan knew this, and therefore didn’t hesitate to engage and partner with Grobank. Funding the start-up costs through a properly-structured business loan created the opportunity for growing the business to where it is today; while capitalising on the vision and dreams of a tightly-knit family, who has built a distribution partnership, based on relationship and integrity.
As Francois always says, any successful business depends on the following four age-old principles:
Love, Faith, Hope … and Cashflow!